Android and iOS: it doesn’t matter why they are good, it matters which one is better?

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Ah, the age-old showdown between iOS and Android users. I have missed it (have you?), but here we are again, diving into the fray. You’ve probably already pledged allegiance to one camp or the other, but have you made the right choice?

Sure, there are smartphones out there running on operating systems that aren’t Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android, but let’s face it, the odds of you being in that tiny minority are about as slim as a smartphone with a battery that lasts a week.

For most of us, it is a two-horse race when it comes to picking a mobile operating system. But hey, that is not necessarily a bad thing. This head-to-head competition has driven both Apple and Google to continually up their game, resulting in sleek, feature-rich, and downright impressive phone software.

Now, the iPhone versus Android debate is like a heavyweight title fight in the tech world, but I am not here to take sides. Instead, I am here to lay out the key benefits of these two operating systems, so you can make an informed decision about which one is better for you.

iOS 17 (with iOS18 already on the horizon) and Android 14 are the latest officially available versions of the OS, so keep in mind that I am speaking about these two.

Let’s talk ecosystems, shall we? Some might brush this off as a superficial factor, but let’s be real, Apple’s got a whole universe of tech goodies up its sleeve. If you are already knee-deep in the Apple ecosystem with a Mac, iPad, or Apple Watch, adding an iPhone to the mix just feels like the natural next step.

Apple’s got this slick lineup of continuity features that seamlessly bridge the gap between its devices, saving you precious time and hassle. Take Universal Clipboard, for instance. You can copy text on one device and paste it on another with ease.

Or transferring files between devices using features like AirDrop is incredibly easy. Similarly, Apple’s screen mirroring solution, AirPlay Mirroring, enables you to wirelessly project your iPhone or iPad screen – apps, games, photos, and all – onto a larger display. It’s known for its reliability and operates seamlessly without third-party software.

Apps

Now, onto apps, yes? Both iOS and Android come loaded with a bunch of stock apps right out of the box. But the situation is a bit different with third-party apps. While iOS might have fewer third-party apps compared to Android, they often come with a silver lining – quality over quantity.
Believe it or not, even some Google apps roll out updates to improve performance on iOS before they hit Android. Why? Well, the Android landscape is like a wild jungle with a gazillion different species roaming around. App developers face a difficult task trying to cater to the myriad of requirements: different aspect ratios, form factors (hello, foldables), feature support, you name it.

But with iOS, getting an update is quicker and more hassle-free. Picture this: you are a developer, and you’ve got to update your app. Now, if you update the iOS version, it is smooth sailing for millions of iPhone users. So, when push comes to shove, where would you prioritize your efforts? Easy choice, right?

Plus, iOS users get access to Apple Arcade, where you can find exclusive games like Resident Evil Village that you won’t find on Android. 

Support and updates

Apple has been giving users 5 years of OS updates for a while now. Just look at the iPhone X. It came out in 2017 with iOS 11. Apple only stopped supporting it last year when iOS 17 was released, making iOS 16 its last major OS update. The device still receives security updates.

While Android support is stepping up its game lately, especially with heavyweights like Samsung and Google pledging a whopping 7 years of OS updates for their latest flagships – think Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 – Apple’s been in it for the long haul when it comes to iPhone support.

Plus, most Android phone manufacturers don’t exactly roll out the red carpet when it comes to long-term support. We are talking 3 to 4 years if you are lucky, and for some, it is a mere 2-year stint before they bid adieu. And let’s say just this, the current iOS 17 rolled out back to the iPhone Xr, launched in 2018. Can you name an Android phone from 2018 that is rocking the latest Android 14 (don’t include such with custom ROMs)? Yeah, I’ll wait.

Security and privacy

When it comes to those two words, Apple’s iOS is more about privacy and security, thanks to its somewhat closed nature. On the flip side, Android’s openness can lead to more chances for malware to sneak into your device, posing security risks.

For example, with recent updates introducing features like app tracking notifications, iOS is giving users more control over who’s peeking into their digital lives. This move was a game-changer for privacy advocates and a bit of a headache for third-party giants like Meta.

But hey, before you start singing iOS’s praises as the ultimate privacy fortress, let’s remember that Apple is still collecting its fair share of data about you. While iOS might have a bit more resilience against third-party snooping, it is essential to stay vigilant in this digital age.

Why is Google’s Android better?

Customization

Over the years, both iOS and Android have undergone some serious changes, but Android has always been the go-to playground for users who love to tinker and make their devices truly their own.

Take Google’s Material You, for instance. It gives Android users a whole new field to explore with revamped color schemes and syncing options. Yes, with iOS 18, Apple is bringing more customization options to its devices, too, but it is not publicly available yet.

Plus, Android’s user interfaces and system software can vary depending on the phone maker. This means you get a plethora of extra features and the freedom to create themes that match your vibe from top to bottom. Whether you prefer Google’s stock Android experience or enjoy phone makers’ custom software like Samsung’s One UI or OnePlus’ OxygenOS, there is something for everyone.

Just take a look at the unique customizations some Android users have managed to create.

Hardware choices or phones at every price

When it comes to smartphones, Android reigns supreme, powering the majority of devices worldwide. Thanks to the multitude of companies producing Android phones, you will find options to fit every budget.

Whether you are eyeing a budget-friendly phone under $500, hunting for the perfect compact phone, or splurging on a cutting-edge flagship or foldable exceeding $1,000, Android has got you covered. There is an Android device out there for everyone, offering a range of features and price points to suit your needs.

Now, let’s talk iPhones. Historically, Apple’s babies have been a tad on the pricey side at launch, only to gradually decrease in price with each passing generation. The most affordable iPhone in Apple’s lineup is the iPhone SE (2022), setting you back $429.

Technology support/features

Now, when it comes to embracing new technologies and features, iOS can sometimes lag behind – or at least take its sweet time catching up with Android. Take wireless tech standards, for instance. From 5G network support to wireless charging, 4G LTE, and touchless voice commands, Android has been leading the charge, leaving iOS playing catch-up.

But here is the thing – Apple’s not one to rush into things. The company prefers to wait it out until new tech is not only useful but also reliable, which is probably why Apple still does not offer a foldable phone, while ​​Android has been paving the way for foldable and dual-screen phones for quite some time now.

However, with the sheer volume of Android devices hitting the market from various manufacturers each year, it is no surprise Google’s OS is quicker to adapt.

Google Assistant is better than Siri (for now)

If you are familiar with digital assistants, you have likely used Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant. Both offer voice-controlled actions with a wake word. But as of 2024, Siri seems a bit behind the times compared to Google Assistant, which is gradually transitioning to Gemini.

Expandable storage: a feature you will still find on some Android phones

Expandable storage may not be as common as it once was, but it is still a feature you will find on some Android phones. This nifty option lets you pop in a microSD card to store extra photos, apps, and media that won’t fit on your device’s internal memory.

It is quite the advantage, especially when you consider the sky-high prices that Apple and other phone manufacturers slap on doubling storage when purchasing your handset. Why fork over an extra $100 to $200 for a mere 128GB or 256GB of storage when you can simply grab a 512GB card later for less than $70?

How to choose between iOS and Android?

Now, here is a tough question. Each platform has its own set of pros and cons, and ultimately, your decision will come down to what matters most to you. So, kick back (or not, totally your call), take a deep breath, and consider what ticks all the boxes for you.

For me, it boils down to the ecosystem – having all my devices seamlessly connected is a game-changer. Whether it is effortlessly locating my gadgets with the Find My feature or seamlessly switching between them, iOS offers that level of convenience that I just can’t do without. With my MacBook, AirPods, and the whole gang, sticking with an iPhone just makes sense for me.

But hey, if you are rocking a Windows laptop and aren’t deep into Apple’s ecosystem, Android might be the better choice. It offers a plethora of options – from how much you want to spend to hardware and software features, giving you the freedom to customize and personalize your experience to your heart’s content.

So, whose side are you on?

I might have missed a few details about both operating systems, but that is the beauty of engaging with the community. You get to hear what people have to say and add. So, let’s use Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, method and use dialogue to challenge assumptions and arrive at deeper truths, shall we? What is your take on the iOS versus Android debate? Which do you prefer and why? Are you loyal to one platform, or do you enjoy the perks of both?


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